Should "the law be the law"

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Should "the law be the law"

Postby mick243 » Tue Sep 10, 2013 1:39 pm

or is it OK for drivers/riders to deliberately break the law?

I've started this thread to get the discussion out of MM3.

The discussion started with a video of a truck being driven particularly badly (and apparently texting whilst driving) - the video also showed the speed of the vehicle taking the video to be over the speed limit.

Some people contend that not all road laws are created equal and should be, lets say, flexible.

Some suggest that its safer to deliberately break some rules.

I suggest that, generally speaking, following al lof the rules/law is safer - for several reasons

one being that if everybody is playing from the same sheet, everybody is now more predictable

also, the human mind is far from perfect, many decisions we make are flawed.

I work in aviation, we have many rules and regs that must be followed. the rules and regs are there to take human factors out of aviation incidents. most incidents occur where human judgement is required - weather that be does this part appear serviceable, does the aircraft have enough fuel, or is that maneuver safe to perform. when it all does go horribly wrong, aircrews will generally go straight for a checklist to work through the problem. the more human factors get removed from aviation, the less incidents occur. I suggest the same is likely to be true for driving.

thats not to say that rules/regs/checklists are infallible - they're not.
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Re: Should "the law be the law"

Postby RonK » Tue Sep 10, 2013 1:45 pm

This will be interesting. I'll go make some popcorn.
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Re: Should "the law be the law"

Postby RonK » Tue Sep 10, 2013 1:45 pm

This will be interesting. I'll go make some popcorn.

Ah, how entertaining Tapatalk can be...
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Re: Should "the law be the law"

Postby mick243 » Tue Sep 10, 2013 2:07 pm

Mulger bill wrote:My emphasis...
mick243 wrote:I I asked for an example where deliberately breaking the law like speeding etc made it safer for all concerned.


mick243 wrote:Please show how making a considered decision to ignore a speed limit (or red light, stop sign, no parking, whatever) makes anything safer for all concerned.


If you want specific responses, pose specific questions. etc and whatever are pretty much as non specific as it gets... Opinion

mick243 wrote:You think drivers should be able to make decisions about following road laws - ask RIchard Pollett how he feels about that. There is a driver who made a decision about what he felt was safe. That decision cost a fellow human and cyclist his life. All to save a few minutes.


I think ALL road users should be not only able but encouraged to make considered decisions before all actions regardless of what the law says. That steaming pile did not give a rats.
I'd give my starb'd bollock to be able to ask Mr Pollett anything, anything at all. :cry:
Do not attempt to twist my words or indeed try to insert obscenities into my mouth to suit your agenda.



Oh, and Scarfy, I'm fully aware that the law is the law, I work in rail safety and the laws and rules I have to follow at work make the road rules look like the instructions to a game of tiddly winks. Had plod been about I doubt I would have acted that way, that's part of the whole "Considered decision" process as well as whether my actions will contravene /B.
Had I not noticed plod and been pinged I would've put me hand up and paid the fine. You win it, you wear it.



Bill, the questions I posed were specific enough - if you have a specific example of how deliberately broken a road law to make it safer for all concerned please elaborate.

some examples others give like speeding = safe are simply not true, no matter how much you may reason otherwise, ditto for crossing unbroken lines.

if youre speeding, you have less reaction time, and longer stopping/turning distances.

if you think crossing an unbroken line is a good idea (to get past those pesky slow cyclists instead of slowing and waiting for a safe place to pass) then you are assuming you know every possible condition on that road and can get around it safeley.


when drivers make decisions on how to drive, it costs people dearly...

for instance, Luke Stevens made a conscious decision on how he was going to drive. That decision cost a fellow cyclist his life. the court found that driving decision was acceptable and Luke wasnt held to account....

the driver of a white 4wd made a similar decision on how he was going to drive. how did that work out for cowled?

both drivers claim to have seen the bike rider before the collision. The fact they were both licensed drivers presupposes they knew the road rules and therefore the legal requirement to pass safeley. they both failed miserably.

I'm not trying to twist your words, or put words in your mouth - I'm trying to show that when drivers make decisions that those decisions are often disasterously flawed.

back to laws - were pushing for a change to the safe passing law that *only* requires an overtaking driver to keep a *safe* distance, we want to change that to drivers must leave a *minimum* of 1.5 meters. the current law allows the driver to make a decision about what they consider to be safe. the change we want takes that decision away from the driver.


I for one want as many decisions as possible taken away from drivers - like robot cars that *always* kept a safe distance from everything, *always* traveled at an appropriate speed, always stoppedand give way where required..... or would you prefer human drivers who *think* they can fit between the bike and the oncoming car?
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Re: Should "the law be the law"

Postby Marx » Tue Sep 10, 2013 2:16 pm

Laws & regulation exist simply because there was a need for them to exist.
They provide a method to introduce a greater level of predictability amoungst people in a community.
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Re: Should "the law be the law"

Postby lobstermash » Tue Sep 10, 2013 2:35 pm

From my experience with legislation (in my job as a public servant, not as a legal professional or anything...), there are usually sections of legislation that provide circumstances where an action being legislated against is not an offence. For example, it is illegal to kill, injure, take or trade a cetacean, however those actions are not offences under number of circumstances, such as humanely relieving or preventing the animal's suffering, or preventing a risk to human health.
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Re: Should "the law be the law"

Postby human909 » Tue Sep 10, 2013 3:56 pm

This dicussion has been done to death. Several pages here.

The road rules are guidelines on how to operate on the roads. Yeah, they are law, but going through a red light at 4am with no traffic coming is hardly an unethical or "wrong" act. If people want to obey every letter of the law then great. But people getting righteous and indignant over it is a little immature.
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Re: Should "the law be the law"

Postby il padrone » Tue Sep 10, 2013 4:42 pm

mick243 wrote:if you think crossing an unbroken line is a good idea (to get past those pesky slow cyclists instead of slowing and waiting for a safe place to pass) then you are assuming you know every possible condition on that road and can get around it safeley.

They are pretty big on unbroken lines on many roads in Tassie.... even double lines.... for kilometres of open, clear visiblity road. Almost all the way down the east coast :| .

It gets so ridiculous that drivers absolutely must break the law or else drive at 20kmh behind us cyclists for 10km+ at a stretch.

There's one practical example for you. I absolutely detest people crossing double-lines, where the double-lines are sensibly placed (ie. for road user safety). But the Taswegian roads authorities have rocks for brains.
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Re: Should "the law be the law"

Postby Mulger bill » Tue Sep 10, 2013 5:04 pm

The only people declaiming of godliness of unthinking, absolute blind obedience just because are the ones whose own transgressions have not been discovered or cannot easily be electronically detected and photographically recorded for later invoicing.
...whatever the road rules, self-preservation is the absolute priority for a cyclist when mixing it with motorised traffic.
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Re: Should "the law be the law"

Postby g-boaf » Tue Sep 10, 2013 5:11 pm

Mulger bill wrote:The only people declaiming of godliness of unthinking, absolute blind obedience just because are the ones whose own transgressions have not been discovered or cannot easily be electronically detected and photographically recorded for later invoicing.


That last bit, that would be cyclists who do not have registration plates on their bicycles and always run red lights...

You did write it... ;)
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Re: Should "the law be the law"

Postby Mulger bill » Tue Sep 10, 2013 5:26 pm

That's one varient.
There's also the clowns who use their mobile, do not indicate, do the pace car routine on freeways, dash up to intersections and pull out right in front of you and then dawdle. Redmanning peds and a thousand others.

While fruitlessly watching the local Ch9 news last night (eeeasy stomach) there's this big article on mean ol' Metro trains being horrible to those good peace lovin' souls who park illegally, often over pedestrian paths or blocking access for other vehicles. The tripe coming from the supposed "victims" boiled my brake fluid with their absolute self centredness and casual dismissal.
...whatever the road rules, self-preservation is the absolute priority for a cyclist when mixing it with motorised traffic.
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Re: Should "the law be the law"

Postby oxonabike » Tue Sep 10, 2013 6:30 pm

I suggest that, generally speaking, following al lof the rules/law is safer - for several reasons


Noting your stance of total compliance that was a theme in the other thread, the use of "generally speaking" should have made this topic all but redundant. That simple qualifier implies discretionary observance of obedience in certain circumstances and provides the 'flexibility' in the road rules that you alluded to in your opening post.

I work in aviation, we have many rules and regs that must be followed. the rules and regs are there to take human factors out of aviation incidents.


And I'll bet your aviation safety management system does not have too many 'generally speaking' provisions. Or does it? Like MB, I too work in rail in a safety critical environment of which human factors play substantial role. The prescribed standards are richly endowed with paragraphs containing shalls and musts and overly specific dot-pointed procedures. Such paragraphs are then inevitably followed by the exceptions.

I think you'll find most (if not all) of the people involved in this discussion do obey all the laws and rules. Generally speaking.
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Re: Should "the law be the law"

Postby mick243 » Tue Sep 10, 2013 6:47 pm

oxonabike wrote:
I suggest that, generally speaking, following al lof the rules/law is safer - for several reasons


Noting your stance of total compliance that was a theme in the other thread, the use of "generally speaking" should have made this topic all but redundant. That simple qualifier implies discretionary observance of obedience in certain circumstances and provides the 'flexibility' in the road rules that you alluded to in your opening post.

I work in aviation, we have many rules and regs that must be followed. the rules and regs are there to take human factors out of aviation incidents.


And I'll bet your aviation safety management system does not have too many 'generally speaking' provisions. Or does it? Like MB, I too work in rail in a safety critical environment of which human factors play substantial role. The prescribed standards are richly endowed with paragraphs containing shalls and musts and overly specific dot-pointed procedures. Such paragraphs are then inevitably followed by the exceptions.

I think you'll find most (if not all) of the people involved in this discussion do obey all the laws and rules. Generally speaking.


Generally speaking, as in referring to everyday road usage, not when you're blocking the path of an ambo with its sirens on or some such other non normal situation.

What I'm talking about is things like in the initial conversation about the truck video - people defending the speed of the vehicle taking the video, "because everybody does it"


Others who espouse that their particular method of breaking the law is ok "because it doesn't hurt anyone" or "because they thought to would be ok"


There seems (to me at least) to be a prevailing opinion throughout society in general that the safety of other takes less of a precedence than making a good time on their journey.

As more vulnerable road users arguing to have rules changed to improve our safety, shouldn't we be leading by example (and for instance, stopping at the red light even though there is no other traffic)

Apart from rego, what's the smoke box drivers biggest complaint about cyclists? Their perception that we're a lawless bunch, they then take at attitude and their multi ton smokebox and defend their position on "their" road....
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Re: Should "the law be the law"

Postby il padrone » Tue Sep 10, 2013 7:16 pm

Perceptions and reality are two very different things. Police talking about cyclists in Melbourne CBD at intersections have confirmed that the proportion of cycling infringements observed is less than the proportion of motorist infringements. Just that every motorist does it, and thus it is so very easy to be blind to this rule-breaking, but the cyclists are 'another breed' :roll:
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Re: Should "the law be the law"

Postby The 2nd Womble » Tue Sep 10, 2013 7:26 pm

I need to go to the toilet.
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Re: Should "the law be the law"

Postby human909 » Tue Sep 10, 2013 9:27 pm

il padrone wrote:There's one practical example for you. I absolutely detest people crossing double-lines, where the double-lines are sensibly placed (ie. for road user safety). But the Taswegian roads authorities have rocks for brains.

Double lines are could be there as an easy way to stop parking or otherwise obstructing the road. Otherwise it would be legal to park on the road.

mick243 wrote:What I'm talking about is things like in the initial conversation about the truck video - people defending the speed of the vehicle taking the video, "because everybody does it"

That was a completely different country mick. The attitudes and enforcement of speed limits are significantly different. Your inability to understand context and risk is a little disturbing.

People weren't defending breaking the speed limit. But you need to keep things in perspective.
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Re: Should "the law be the law"

Postby il padrone » Tue Sep 10, 2013 9:38 pm

human909 wrote:Double lines are could be there as an easy way to stop parking or otherwise obstructing the road. Otherwise it would be legal to park on the road..

On often straight stretches of rural roads.... 10kms from the nearest small town..... where there are no obvious views or scenic features? Like this (there are many kilometres of such roads).

I think not :|
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Re: Should "the law be the law"

Postby find_bruce » Tue Sep 10, 2013 9:39 pm

Good grief, I am having flashbacks of university with tedious debates about whether parliament could pass a blue eyed baby law & if Sir Edward Coke was correct to hold that "when an Act of Parliament is against common right and reason, or repugnant, or impossible to be performed, the common law will controul it, and adjudge such Act to be void"

Laws, whether of Parliament, religion, clubs or gangs, are about power and control. They can be benevolent, misconceived or unjust. People will breach them, in ignorance, arrogance or with noble ambitions.

Non-violent civil disobedience has been one of the most powerful forms of rebellion.

I was going to finish with the quote from Douglas Bader "Rules are for the guidance of wise men and the obedience of fools." but I think I prefer

DENNIS: Listen, strange women lying in ponds distributing swords is no basis for a system of government. Supreme executive power derives from a mandate from the masses, not from some farcical aquatic ceremony.
ARTHUR: Be quiet!
DENNIS: Well you can't expect to wield supreme executive power just because some watery tart threw a sword at you!
ARTHUR: Shut up!
DENNIS: I mean, if I went around saying, "I was an emperor just because some moistened bink had lobbed a scimitar at me" they'd put me away!
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Re: Should "the law be the law"

Postby il padrone » Tue Sep 10, 2013 9:44 pm

find_bruce wrote:I was going to finish with the quote from Douglas Bader "Rules are for the guidance of wise men and the obedience of fools." but I think I prefer

DENNIS: Listen, strange women lying in ponds distributing swords is no basis for a system of government. Supreme executive power derives from a mandate from the masses, not from some farcical aquatic ceremony.
ARTHUR: Be quiet!
DENNIS: Well you can't expect to wield supreme executive power just because some watery tart threw a sword at you!
ARTHUR: Shut up!
DENNIS: I mean, if I went around saying, "I was an emperor just because some moistened bink had lobbed a scimitar at me" they'd put me away!


:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

Lovin' your style!!
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Re: Should "the law be the law"

Postby exadios » Tue Sep 10, 2013 9:59 pm

find_bruce wrote:Good grief, I am having flashbacks of university with tedious debates about whether parliament could pass a blue eyed baby law & if Sir Edward Coke was correct to hold that "when an Act of Parliament is against common right and reason, or repugnant, or impossible to be performed, the common law will controul it, and adjudge such Act to be void"



So, what was the outcome of the debate?
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Re: Should "the law be the law"

Postby find_bruce » Tue Sep 10, 2013 10:51 pm

exadios wrote:
find_bruce wrote:Good grief, I am having flashbacks of university with tedious debates about whether parliament could pass a blue eyed baby law & if Sir Edward Coke was correct to hold that "when an Act of Parliament is against common right and reason, or repugnant, or impossible to be performed, the common law will controul it, and adjudge such Act to be void"



So, what was the outcome of the debate?

I can't recall whether the outcome was exhaustion or boredom, but I am fairly sure it ended with a bunch of us going to the pub in an effort to forget it :D
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Re: Should "the law be the law"

Postby exadios » Tue Sep 10, 2013 11:30 pm

find_bruce wrote:
exadios wrote:
find_bruce wrote:Good grief, I am having flashbacks of university with tedious debates about whether parliament could pass a blue eyed baby law & if Sir Edward Coke was correct to hold that "when an Act of Parliament is against common right and reason, or repugnant, or impossible to be performed, the common law will controul it, and adjudge such Act to be void"



So, what was the outcome of the debate?

I can't recall whether the outcome was exhaustion or boredom, but I am fairly sure it ended with a bunch of us going to the pub in an effort to forget it :D


A good debate proceeding to a satisfactory end. :)
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Re: Should "the law be the law"

Postby Mulger bill » Wed Sep 11, 2013 9:40 am

find_bruce wrote:Good grief, I am having flashbacks of university with tedious debates about whether parliament could pass a blue eyed baby law & if Sir Edward Coke was correct to hold that "when an Act of Parliament is against common right and reason, or repugnant, or impossible to be performed, the common law will controul it, and adjudge such Act to be void"

Laws, whether of Parliament, religion, clubs or gangs, are about power and control. They can be benevolent, misconceived or unjust. People will breach them, in ignorance, arrogance or with noble ambitions.

Non-violent civil disobedience has been one of the most powerful forms of rebellion.

I was going to finish with the quote from Douglas Bader "Rules are for the guidance of wise men and the obedience of fools." but I think I prefer

DENNIS: Listen, strange women lying in ponds distributing swords is no basis for a system of government. Supreme executive power derives from a mandate from the masses, not from some farcical aquatic ceremony.
ARTHUR: Be quiet!
DENNIS: Well you can't expect to wield supreme executive power just because some watery tart threw a sword at you!
ARTHUR: Shut up!
DENNIS: I mean, if I went around saying, "I was an emperor just because some moistened bink had lobbed a scimitar at me" they'd put me away!


Here endeth the lesson.

Thank you Bruce for being so articulate. Tho' my searches for the quote you attributed to the great Tin Legged one hit me with about 93 possible origins. Don't ever recall reading it in any works on the great man either :?

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Re: Should "the law be the law"

Postby mick243 » Wed Sep 11, 2013 12:29 pm

The lesson being that we, as a cycling community are happy to not take the moral high ground. To accept that the general publics perception of us being a lawless bunch and not do everything we can to change hat perception. That perception is what leads certain lower rent members of the public to "teach us a lesson", that perception helps the police and juries find in favour of the motorist


Made our beds and we don't even want to clean the sheets......
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Re: Should "the law be the law"

Postby jules21 » Wed Sep 11, 2013 12:40 pm

oxonabike wrote:And I'll bet your aviation safety management system does not have too many 'generally speaking' provisions. Or does it? Like MB, I too work in rail in a safety critical environment of which human factors play substantial role. The prescribed standards are richly endowed with paragraphs containing shalls and musts and overly specific dot-pointed procedures. Such paragraphs are then inevitably followed by the exceptions.

I think you'll find most (if not all) of the people involved in this discussion do obey all the laws and rules. Generally speaking.

one of the most important terms in rail safety law is "so far as is reasonably practicable". this allows for people to use common sense when prescriptive rules may be judged as unnecessary/unsafe.
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